Downtown Tacoma is getting a new cocktail lounge, and the owners behind it will be familiar to those who appreciate fine tiki and rum drinks.
Robyn Murphy and Jason Alexander plan to open Devil’s Reef, their second tiki cocktail bar, this fall in the space that until recently held the B Sharp Coffee House in Opera Alley in the Triangle/St. Helens neighborhood.
The couple’s first tiki-style bar, Tacoma Cabana, will continue to operate.
The partners in business and life opened Tacoma Cabana in downtown Tacoma in 2012. The bar became an instant success for its selection of 300 high-end rums and its detailed focus on creating tiki classics. In fact, Alexander has so finely honed his tiki presentation, he won the Iron Tikitender championship in 2014.
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Alexander opening Devil’s Reef would give him a more expansive space to display all his rums. They now are out-of-view at Tacoma Cabana.
“All the bottles hidden behind bottles behind more bottles can come out. They’re all crammed in the back bar. They’re three to four deep in there,” he said.
The Devil’s Reef menu will center on tiki drinks, but with some changes.
“There will be little crossover. It’s still tropical and exotic tiki beverages,” said Alexander. “It’s all I know.”
Drinks not found on the Tacoma Cabana menu, or at least not often, will be served at Devil’s Reef. Alexander said he’s been saving some drinks for the new venue.
He rattled off a few from his list, including the Drunken Helmsman, an on-and-off drink special at Tacoma Cabana made with dark rum, spices, maple syrup and finished with an amaro (a family of Italian bitter herbal spirits). Another, named after the new tiki lounge, will be made with a pineapple-molasses base, citrus and rum. Another rum drink called Order of the Idol will feature lime, grapefruit and cinnamon.
The food menu is still under development, but expect snacks and plates that pair well with tiki drinks.
The decor at Devil’s Reef will head to the dark side of tiki.
“It’s going to be a little more concentrated design and effort. It’ll have a lot more nautical and dark theme than the whimsical fantasy that the Cabana is, and lots and lots of layers,” Alexander said.
Seating at Devil’s Reef will be around 50 in the main area (Tacoma Cabana has about twice that number in total). Expect a more expansive bar design, with room to display all those rums, and many more seats at that bar than currently offered at Tacoma Cabana.
Construction in the 3,000 square-feet space will include building that larger bar, closing off the kitchen area and a few other minor projects.
Like the Cabana, the Devil’s Reef will be open Wednesdays through Saturdays, evenings only.